Dill is a perennial
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

. It is the sole species of the genus Anethum, though classified by some botanists in a related genus as Peucedanum graveolens (L.) C.B.Clarke.


40–60 cm (15.7–23.6 in), with slender stems and alternate, finely divided, softly delicate leaves
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long. The ultimate leaf divisions are 1–2 mm (0.0393700787401575–0.078740157480315 in) broad, slightly broader than the similar leaves of fennel
Fennel is a plant species in the genus Foeniculum . It is a member of the family Apiaceae . It is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves...

, which are threadlike, less than 1 mm (0.0393700787401575 in) broad, but harder in texture. The flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s are white to yellow, in small umbel
An umbel is an inflorescence which consists of a number of short flower stalks which are equal in length and spread from a common point, somewhat like umbrella ribs....

s 2–9 cm (0.78740157480315–3.5 in) diameter. The seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s are 4–5 mm (0.15748031496063–0.196850393700787 in) long and 1 mm (0.0393700787401575 in) thick, and straight to slightly curved with a longitudinally ridged surface.

Origins and history

Dill originated within an area around the Meditteranean and the South of Russia. Zohary and Hopf remark that "wild and weedy types of dill are widespread in the Mediterranean basin and in West Asia."

Although several twigs of dill were found in the tomb of Amenhotep II
Amenhotep II
Amenhotep II was the seventh Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. Amenhotep inherited a vast kingdom from his father Thutmose III, and held it by means of a few military campaigns in Syria; however, he fought much less than his father, and his reign saw the effective cessation of hostilities...

, they report that the earliest archeological evidence for its cultivation comes from late Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 lake shore settlements in Switzerland. Traces have been found in Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 ruins in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...


In Semitic languages
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

 it is known by the name of Shubit. The Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 requires that tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

s shall be paid on the seeds, leaves, and stem of dill.

Nomenclature and taxonomy

The name dill comes from Old English dile, thought to have originated from a Norse or Anglo-Saxon word dylle meaning to soothe or lull , the plant having the carminative
A carminative, also known as carminativum , is a herb or preparation that either prevents formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitates the expulsion of said gas, thereby combating flatulence...

 property of relieving gas. In Romania it is called Mărar.


Fresh and dried dill leaves (sometimes called "dill weed" to distinguish it from dill seed) are used as herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

s, mainly in Sweden, the Baltic, in Russia, and in central Asia.

Like caraway
Caraway also known as meridian fennel, or Persian cumin is a biennial plant in the family Apiaceae, native to western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa....

, its fernlike leaves are aromatic and are used to flavor many food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

s, such as gravlax
Gravlax or gravad lax , gravet laks , gravlaks , graavilohi , graavilõhe , graflax is a Nordic dish consisting of raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar, and dill...

 (cured salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

), borscht
Borscht is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. In most of these countries, it is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, giving it a deep reddish-purple color...

 and other soup
Soup is a generally warm food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth.Traditionally,...

s, and pickle
Pickled cucumber
A pickled cucumber is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation.-Gherkin:A gherkin is not only...

s (where the dill flower is sometimes used). Dill is best when used fresh, as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried; however, freeze-dried
Freeze drying
Freeze-drying is a dehydration process typically used to preserve a perishable material or make the material more convenient for transport...

 dill leaves preserve their flavor relatively well for a few months.

Dill seed is used as a spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

, with a flavor somewhat similar to caraway but also resembling that of fresh or dried dill weed. Dill seeds were traditionally used to soothe the stomach after meals. Dill oil
Dill oil
Dill oil is an essential oil extracted from the seeds or leaves/stems of the Dill plant. It can be used with water to create dill water.-Origin:...

 can be extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant.

In Arabic, dill seed is called ain jaradeh (means cricket eye) used as a spice in cold dishes like fattoush
Fattoush is a Levantine bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables. Fattoush belongs to the family of dishes known as fattat or fatta, which are made in the Levant by Arab cooks using stale flatbread as a base...

 and pickles.

In Lao cuisine and parts of northern Thailand
Isan is the northeastern region of Thailand. It is located on the Khorat Plateau, bordered by the Mekong River to the north and east, by Cambodia to the southeast and the Prachinburi mountains south of Nakhon Ratchasima...

, dill is known in English as Laotian coriander and Lao cilantro . In the Lao language
Lao language
Lao or Laotian is a tonal language of the Tai–Kadai language family. It is the official language of Laos, and also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, where it is usually referred to as the Isan language. Being the primary language of the Lao people, Lao is also an important second language for...

, it is called Phak See, and in Thai
Thai language
Thai , also known as Central Thai and Siamese, is the national and official language of Thailand and the native language of the Thai people, Thailand's dominant ethnic group. Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Tai–Kadai language family. Historical linguists have been unable to definitively...

, it is known as Phak Chee Lao. In Lao cuisine, the herb is typically used in mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaf) and several coconut milk-based curries that contain fish or prawn
Prawns are decapod crustaceans of the sub-order Dendrobranchiata. There are 540 extant species, in seven families, and a fossil record extending back to the Devonian...


In Vietnam, the use of dill in cooking is regional, specifically northern Vietnamese cuisine.

In Iran, dill is known as "Shevid" and is sometimes used with rice and called "Shevid-Polo".

In India, dill is known as "SHEPU" or "SHAPU" in Marathi, 'Savaa' in Hindi or 'Soa' not related to Soy, in Punjabi. In Telugu it is called soya and soya-kura (for herb greens). It is also called 'sapsige soppu' (ಸಪ್ಸಿಗೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು) in Kannada. In Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 it is known as Sada kuppi(சதகுப்பி). In Malayalam, it is ചതകുപ്പ(Chathakuppa)or ശതകുപ്പ(Sathakuppa). In Sanskrit, this herb is called Shatapushpa. In Gujrati it is known as hariz. In India, dill is prepared in the manner of yellow Moong dal as a main-course dish. It is considered to have very good anti-gas properties, and hence it is used as mukhwas, or an after-meal digestive. It is also traditionally given to mothers immediately after childbirth.

In Serbia, dill is known as "Mirodjija" and used in addition to soups and dishes, also in potato salads and French fries.

In Canada, dill is a favourite herb to accompany poached salmon.

In Santa Maria, Azores, dill (Endro) is the most important ingredient of the traditional Holy Ghost soup (Sopas do Espírito Santo). Dill is found practically anywhere in Santa Maria, and curiously rare in the other Azorean Islands.


Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially. It also prefers rich, well drained soil. The seeds are viable for 3–10 years..

The seed is harvested by cutting the flower heads off the stalks when the seed is beginning to ripen. The seed heads are placed upside down in a paper bag and left in a warm dry place for a week. The seeds then separate from the stems easily for storage in an airtight container.

Companion Planting

When used as a companion planting, dill draws in many beneficial insects as the umbrella flower heads go to seed. Fittingly, it makes a good companion plant for cucumbers. It is a poor companion for carrots and tomatoes.


  • Antibacterial potent of Staphylococcus aureus
    Staphylococcus aureus
    Staphylococcus aureus is a facultative anaerobic Gram-positive coccal bacterium. It is frequently found as part of the normal skin flora on the skin and nasal passages. It is estimated that 20% of the human population are long-term carriers of S. aureus. S. aureus is the most common species of...

  • Antimicrobial activity against Saccharomyces cerevisiae
    Saccharomyces cerevisiae
    Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of yeast. It is perhaps the most useful yeast, having been instrumental to baking and brewing since ancient times. It is believed that it was originally isolated from the skin of grapes...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.